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AG Kilmartin Urges Congress to Protect Legal Rights of Victimized Consumers

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and a group of 19 other attorneys general U.S. Senate leaders not to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Arbitration Rule, which stops companies from forcing consumers to sign away their legal rights.

The House recently passed a Joint Resolution of Disapproval that would set aside the CFPB's rule under the Congressional Review Act. The attorneys general are asking the Senate to oppose that resolution and support consumers' rights to go to court to assert their claims against financial institutions.

The multistate letter was sent today to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

"The CFPB's Arbitration Rule would deliver essential relief to consumers, hold financial services companies accountable for their misconduct, and provide ordinary consumers with meaningful access to the civil justice system," the letter states.

"We cannot allow Congress to undo the consumer protections that have been put in place by the CFPB merely out of political spite. Consumer protection should never be a political football, and we urge the Senate to do what is right and oppose this measure and any other effort to harm consumers," said Attorney General Kilmartin.

Last August, a coalition of attorneys general in sending a multistate letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray supporting the CFPB's rulemaking and calling for the restoration of these protections for consumers.

Restrictions on participation in class action cases are routinely inserted by financial institutions into contracts for financial products such as credit cards, payday loans, and checking accounts. Many consumers enter contracts without being aware that they are relinquishing significant rights, including their rights in court.

The states that participated in this letter include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia and Hawaii's Office of Consumer Protection.

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